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Speech by Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira at the 4th Nuclear Security Summit
Washington, April 1st, 2016 


Mr. President,

Brazil is committed to several national and international actions to strengthen the physical protection of nuclear materials. We have strong, efficient and appropriate mechanisms and legislation regarding physical protection and prevention of terrorism, as well as strict accountability and control of nuclear materials and radioactive sources.

In this regard, all nuclear material in Brazil is under safeguards of IAEA and ABACC – the Brazilian-Argentinian Agency of accountability and control of nuclear materials. As mentioned in the morning session by President Macri, of Argentina, this organization is the result of the strong cooperation and deep confidence built between Brazil and Argentina in the nuclear field, which started 25 years ago.

All rules and regulations pertaining to the physical protection of sensitive assets, materials and equipment, according to the regimes and agreements to which Brazil is a party, have been incorporated into our domestic legislation. The 2005 amendment to the Convention of Physical Protection of Nuclear Material is currently in the process of being submitted to the Brazilian National Congress.

In addition, Brazil has been cooperating with other countries and the IAEA to implement nuclear security and physical protection measures during major public events. This cooperation gained momentum during the 2007 Pan-American Games and, more recently, the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Such joint efforts will continue to run up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

A few days ago, on March 16, President Dilma Rousseff signed into law a bill which typifies terrorism as a crime and regulates investigation and judicial proceedings related to terrorism under domestic criminal law. Combined with regulation adopted last October on the freezing of assets belonging to individuals and entities listed by multilateral sanctions regimes, the new legislation reflects the Brazilian Government's strong commitment to combat terrorism and terrorism financing.

In the view of the importance of the topic of this lunch, Mr. President, I'd like to state that since 2010 Brazil has participated in the Nuclear Security Summits that you created. We welcome with satisfaction the fact that this Summits have contributed to increasing the visibility of nuclear security in all of its various aspects.

To be consistent and effective, Brazil believes that it is essential to consider nuclear security in the context of broader efforts to promote goals that are also related to nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and advancing nuclear energy for peaceful uses.

Brazil and another 15 countries participating in the Summit will release a joint statement with the broad view of the challenges we face in the nuclear arena. The physical protection of nuclear materials will not be strengthened if our efforts are only focused on nuclear materials and facilities under civilian programs, while ignoring the threats posed by the large amounts of material involved in nuclear weapons programs. 83 percent of fissile materials that can be used in nuclear weapons around the world are located in military facilities, which are not covered by any international oversight information-sharing or confidence-building mechanism.

I would like to refer to the remarks that you, Mr. President, made in Prague in 2009 in favor of disarmament, which resulted in a new start agreement between the United States and Russia in 2010. Your vision, Mr President, is consistent with that of many of us here today: that it is necessary to simultaneously and forcefully confront all risks posed in the nuclear arena. To that end, we need not only to strengthen the physical protection of nuclear materials but also to continue our non-proliferation efforts and advance towards the disarmament to achieve a world that is free of nuclear weapons and any other weapons of mass destruction.

The Nuclear Summits, initiated in Washington under your inspiration, have achieved the goal of focusing international attention on the various aspects of nuclear security. Now, we believe it is important to channel all efforts to the International Atomic Energy Agency – IAEA, which is the multilateral institution that counts with the participation of all actors and has the legitimacy, mandate and technical expertise required to follow through with this issue.

Thank you very much.

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